Sending some happy mail to Australia

I think it can be really important to stop and think about how great your friends are and all the stupid things that you’ve gotten up to together. I also think it’s a good idea to tell them from time to time that you think they’re proper awesome – the world needs more love, not less.

So I’ve made another little book of notes, this time for a good friend in Australia. Jane’s yet another person I met during my year in the US. I seem to be making the rounds with these booklets – what can I say, I miss their silly faces sometimes.

The theme for this one came out of the embossed typewriter card I made with my mother’s Sizzix and started out very black and white – but that came out much harsher than I wanted it to be. I found some old book pages, which helped soften the tone. After that, a few touches of green was all that was necessary to take this from strict and somber into happy mail territory. Somewhere along the line I realized the theme in my mind had transformed into ‘Vintage Flora and Fauna Encyclopedia’.

The layered effect that you get in these booklets is something I’m really fond of – it feels a little like putting together small mini-albums, but without the pictures.

I’m really happy with how this turned out in terms of both varying textures and layers – some shiny and some matte, few corners aligned anywhere. I’m also glad that it managed to maintain a vintage feel despite the bursts of bright and lime green.

Below are some page excerpts.

Happy mailing, and may the postman deliver ever in your favour!


13 thoughts on “Sending some happy mail to Australia

  1. I stumbled across your blog and fell in love with this idea. I’ve started making something for my best friend. Have you got any tips? I don’t have lots of bits and bobs and cool stuff like you, so what could I use in the meantime?


    1. I’m glad to hear you like it! I was going to put up a tutorial in December, but time completely ran away from me.

      What I’ve found is that you probably have more bits and bobs than you think, you just have to start thinking of the stuff you do have in a different way. Do you have a newspaper lying around? The black/white text from that makes for a good background instead of vintage pages, and the matte texture can make it an interesting inbetween page that you can write a quote on in fat letters. Magazines are full of images that you can cut out and glue in, and may have ambient colour pages too. If you don’t have washi tape you can always draw on masking tape, or stamp on it if you have stamps. You can paint tags you get with clothes for cute small inserts. I frequently cut the stamps off envelopes I receive to use as embellishments. The envelopes I’ve used as pockets are from the Pound shop – 80 of them for £1! They’re meant for kids’ lunch money, but who cares about that? 😀 I’ve also used post it notes as small pops of colour before (if you plan on doing this more frequently, you can get really fun and super cheap post-its from ebay, you just have to wait 3 weeks for delivery). Paint, ink and/or stamps can easily be used to transform plain white paper into interesting art – anyone can create a nice ombre background with the watercolours you get cheap in the kids isle of most grocery stores (just don’t be afraid to use more water than you think you need). Depending on what your local bus or train tickets look like, they might make for interesting ephemera to glue in for a matching detail. And remember how you used to make snowflakes out of folded paper as a kid? You can get fun twirly interesting texture pages out of that method, especially if you add a little ink or paint. Just crumpling paper that you then smooth out can be an interesting bit of texture whenever you don’t have access to an embossing machine. If you’re going for an overall vintage look, dipping any paper in tea will do the trick. Small pieces of string or ribbon from packaging or tags are great for a small texture shift, or if you’ve got yarn or embroidery thread you can embroider a word through a bit of cardstock.

      I’m really just popping out ideas here without any real structure, but I hope that something here helps you come up with something 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow that’s fab! You’ve given me lots of great tips there. I’m looking forward to get cracking when I get home.

        How long do you usually spend on each mail?


      2. I’m glad to help 😀

        It really varies! Sometimes I’m feeling really inspired and everything comes together really neatly and fast, then it might only take 30-40 minutes including writing the actual letter. Other times it can take me an hour just to decide on a vague premise for the letter, and another two hours or more before it’s done. Some take longer than that before they’re completely done, generally because I’m just not really feeling it and doing a tiny washi collage bit here and a set of mail tags there, spreading the work load over several days even if it’s just 20 minutes here and there 😛


  2. I feel like each little booklet you makes gets more extraordinary. I feel like you’re going to get tired of hearing me exclaim over your mail, but you have no idea how lovely I think it is!

    Not to mention your comment is wonderfully detailed. (And I would love a tutorial, by the way.) I’m sure your friend will adore this.


    1. Maybe I’m just a total sucker for affirmation, but I don’t think I’ll tire of your kind words of encouragement, thank you so much!

      I really believe that everyone can be creative, regardless of means – so that unedited brain dump above is surprisingly close to things that are important to me 🙂

      I still intend to make a tutorial – it’s on the to do list! The problem is, so are a bunch of other things….. Oh life, always getting in the way 😉 jk of course!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your mail is always so lovely to look at! I love the color choices you make. I typically send mail with little bags full of bits and bobs, but I really like your booklet idea! I’ll have to try it out some day.


    1. Sending mail out with bits and bobs is super awesome too. I just like to make booklets when a slightly more scrapbooking version of inspiration strikes me. They’re also really good for when you’re not writing to a penpal, but to someone who’s unlikely to reply and might not share your love for stationary. The bits and bobs mean less to them, but the letter in it’s entirety doesn’t. This is a way to still keep it fun 🙂


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